IBM presents gift to UMSL’s Xtreme IT! program

UMSL alumna and IBM executive Lisa Yanker presented the UMSL’s Xtreme IT! Faculty with a $11,500 gift. Pictured (from left) are: Keith Womer, dean of the College of Business Administration at UMSL; Mark Zimmerman, vice president of information technology at Schnuck Markets, Inc.; Ray Creely, UMSL alumnus and co-founder of Xtreme IT!; Vicki Sauter, professor of information systems at UMSL and co-founder of Xtreme IT!; Ashok Subramanian, professor of information systems at UMSL; and Lisa Yanker, director of the Worldwide WebSphere Application and System z sales team at IBM.

Xtreme IT! received an $11,500 Community Impact Grant from IBM last week. The grant was presented to the creators of Xtreme IT!,  a precollegiate summer academy at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Vicki Sauter, professor of information systems at UMSL, and Ray Creely, UMSL alumnus and former IBM executive, developed the weeklong camp at UMSL in 2008 to introduce the field of IT to a younger generation.

“IBM is pleased to support this outstanding program to help encourage students to study information technology,” said Dan Hebrank, IBM Missouri Senior State Executive. “Our world is becoming smarter – more interconnected, integrated and intelligent – and we need a smarter work force that can build these systems and apply technologies to solve the world’s most pressing issues. Smarter water supplies, smarter transportation systems, smarter energy usage – systems that allow us to preserve our natural resources and make the planet a better place for all. We need students to study math, science and technology so they can contribute to the field and create new innovations. The Xtreme IT!  program is designed to engage and encourage students to pursue careers in this important field and is a program IBM is excited to support.”

Xtreme IT! allows high school students to live in the dorms for a week while attending workshops and visiting local businesses to learn about information technology. At the end of the camp, students present Web pages they developed based on the techniques and skills they learned during camp.

“We are very grateful to IBM for this gift and for the confidence in us that the gift demonstrates,” Sauter said. “It reinforces our belief that we are doing the right thing, that it is important both to reach out to high school students to show them the range of careers that are possible and to give them this set of experiences to share the opportunities of the IT field.With this gift, we will be able to offer the opportunity to participate to more students in need and to offer some additional experiences. This will help significantly in responding to the increased demand for Xtreme IT!”

IBM Community Impact Grants are part of IBM’s 2011 Centennial Celebration of Service. They support IBM employees’ involvement in local projects that link IBM’s community agenda and local community priorities, in partnership with a school or not-for-profit organization.


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